Cumin Rubbed Grilled Chicken with Chimichurri Sauce

May 27, 2016

This Grilled Chimichurri Chicken is first rubbed in an earthy cumin spice blend before being grilled to perfection and topped with a fresh chimichurri sauce. It’s a staple summer recipe in my house, and my whole family goes crazy for it! 

Grilled Chimichurri Chicken on white platter

Flavorful Chimichurri Chicken Recipe

Let me start of by saying you HAVE to try this chicken! This Grilled Cumin Chicken with Chimichurri Sauce is the definition of good food!

It’s packed to the max with vibrant flavors, it’s hearty, it’s healthy, it’s colorful, it’s fresh. How could you go wrong? I could live on this for weeks!

A delicious spiced-rubbed chicken, grilled to perfection and topped with a generous spoonful of cilantro chimichurri. Then if you’re like me you’ll add chimichurri to everthing else on your plate.

I love it with grilled vegetables or baked potatoes. Maybe that’s weird, but try it and you may just find yourself loving it too.

You’ll have leftover sauce, so you may as well add it to the side dish too. If you haven’t tried chimichurri sauce, don’t let another week go by without making it — trust me, you need it in your life!

I can’t wait for the herbs in my garden to be fully grown so I can make this for days an days…and days! Have I said I love this stuff yet? I really, really love it!

What is Chimichurri?

I first learned about chimichurri sauce from my husband because he had lived in Argentina for two years, so in other words I’d been living most of my life missing out on such an amazing thing. This recipe I made isn’t your typical Argentine chimchurri (as far as I know).

I don’t know that you’d find cilantro in a typical version there, but I love LOVE cilantro so I can’t resist adding some to mine. Red pepper flakes also aren’t typical, but I like a little heat, and the red onion is another no so common ingredient but I really like the flavor it brings so I add a bit to it here.

Then you’ll usually find either vinegar or lemon juice, but I like the combination of the two so I go with both.

More often then not you’ll see chimchurri sauce served with some sort of beef or sausage, which I love it with as well, but I love it just as much served over chicken, so tada. Here you are.

Chimichurri sauce ingredients in food processor

Chimichurri Chicken Ingredients

For the grilled cumin chicken, you’ll need:

  • Chicken breasts
  • Ground cumin
  • Ground coriander
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil

And for the homemade cilantro chimichurri, you’ll need:

  • Red onion
  • Garlic
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Fresh parsley, oregano and cilantro
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Olive oil

Chimichurri Sauce in food processor

How to Make Grilled Cumin Chicken

  • Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
  • Pound chicken breasts to even thickness, then brush with olive oil.
  • Sprinkle spice mixture onto both sides of the chicken.
  • Grill until cooked through.

How to Make Chimichurri Sauce

  • Add red onion, garlic, red wine vinegar, lemon juice and salt to a food processor. Pulse until minced.
  • Add the rest of the chimichurri ingredients to the food processor and pulse until combined.

close up of Grilled Chimichurri Chicken

What Type of Parsley Should I Use?

For this chimichurri sauce recipe, I used flat leaf parsley. But I’m sure you could use another type of parsley. Play around with the sauce to find what you like best!

What Should I Do with Leftover Chimichurri Sauce?

You’ll likely have leftover chimichurri sauce after making this grilled cumin chicken recipe. You’ll have enough sauce for one more batch of chicken, give or take.

Chimichurri also freezes beautifully and can be thawed out later to be used on any grilled meat.

Tips for the Best Chimichurri Chicken

  • Use some of the stems from the herbs as well as the leaves. The stems are packed with flavor!
  • When making the chimichurri, don’t over mix the sauce. You want it to have some texture.
  • Use freshly squeezed lemon juice for the best flavor.

four pieces of Grilled Chimichurri Chicken on white platter

More Grilled Chicken Recipes You’ll Love:

Grilled Cumin Chicken with Chimichurri Sauce

5 from 1 vote

This Grilled Chimichurri Chicken is first rubbed in an earthy cumin spice blend before being grilled to perfection and topped with a fresh chimichurri sauce.

Servings: 5
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

Chimichurri Sauce

  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups (38g) packed fresh parsley*
  • 1/2 cups (16g) packed fresh cilantro
  • 3 Tbsp (5g) packed fresh oregano
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 3/4 cup olive oil (I like a blend of half regular half extra-virgin)

Chicken

  • 5 (6 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. For the chimichurri sauce: Add red onion, garlic, red wine vinegar, lemon juice and salt to a food processor. Pulse, stopping and scraping down sides occasionally, until finely minced. 
  2. Add in parsley, cilantro, oregano and red pepper flakes, then pour in olive oil while pulsing several times until herb leaves are finely minced**. Transfer to a bowl, cover and chill until ready to serve.

  3. For the chicken: Preheat a grill to 425 degrees over medium-high heat. In small mixing bowl whisk together cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. 
  4. Pound chicken to an even thickness using the flat side of a meat mallet then brush both sides lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle and rub both sides evenly with cumin mixture. 
  5. Transfer to clean grill grates and grill until center of chicken registers 165 on an instant read thermometer, about 4 minutes per side. 
  6. Serve warm with chimichurri sauce.

Recipe Notes

  • *Use leaves and some stem with all the herbs.
  • **Don't puree/pulverize everything, it should still have some texture.
  • You'll likely have left over chimichurri sauce, probably about enough to make one more batch of chicken another time and the sauce can be frozen.
Nutrition Facts
Grilled Cumin Chicken with Chimichurri Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 522 Calories from Fat 351
% Daily Value*
Fat 39g60%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 108mg36%
Sodium 1138mg49%
Potassium 728mg21%
Carbohydrates 3g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Protein 36g72%
Vitamin A 955IU19%
Vitamin C 16.8mg20%
Calcium 45mg5%
Iron 2.1mg12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Argentine
Keyword: chicken, Chimichurri
Author: Jaclyn